Truth For The Heart

As I’ve been changing things around here with a new theme, I’ve also been doing some reading on what’s known as cornerstone content. What I’ve read has primarily been written for businesses and search engine ratings, but it also got me thinking about why I started writing and what I’ve focused on since I started blogging here at Kindling for Candles. What’s important to me and why do I think it’s important to you?

In the past a cornerstone had a specific purpose for a building. It was “the first stone set during the building process. Careful measurements were taken to ensure the cornerstone was square to ensure the proper1 alignment of the remainder of the building.” It’s not an unfamiliar word for Christians because throughout the Bible Jesus Christ is called the chief cornerstone. Peter and Paul expand the metaphor in their letters. Peter calls Christians “living stones” who are “being built up as a spiritual house.” Paul writes that Christians are “God’s household,”

…having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.

Obviously, all Christian sites should be building content on Jesus Christ, but a site’s cornerstone content is the specific purpose of a site. Marieke van de Rakt defines it as, “the core of your website.” Brian Clark talks about writing a flagship post that, “serves a vital function in creating a relevant, compelling, and useful cornerstone to build a site around.”

As I look back at what I’ve written on the Christian life and which posts I thought were important to highlight in the header, I’ve found there are two things I’ve written about over and over again: truth and love.

Even as I look back on the work I’ve done with women in churches, I find I’ve always emphasized knowing God’s Word so we can love God and we can love each other. The very first time I meet with a group of women to study the Bible, I talk about why we’re studying the Bible, and I lead off with these two passages:

Thus says the Lord, “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the Lord.
Jeremiah 9:23–24

and:

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”
Matthew 22:36–40

Why do I do this? Why do I always begin this way?

I grew up in church. I was there Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night; I was active in the youth group, and I sang in the choir. Yet I only became a Christian in the summer of 1970 after my freshman year in college.

Those were the days of questioning existence and meaning as war protests and radicals overran campuses. As many searched for the why and the solution of what was wrong with the world1 and with them, they found the answer in the person of Jesus Christ and became Christians by the thousands. The revival that swept the nation became known as the Jesus Movement.

As a new Christian on a university campus, I was immediately plunged into explaining and defending my faith. Those were tough days, but they were also marked by tremendous joy and love. Among other new Christians who were my friends, there was such delight and astonishment in knowing God—we were forgiven and we stood clean before Him in the Lord Jesus. We had been forgiven much, and we loved much. Our gratitude and love for God spilled over into a yearning to please Him and honor Him. Our love for God also spilled over into our love for one another.

The difficult, even wretched, backgrounds of many of us impelled us to come to a serious understanding of the importance of God’s Word to remake our lives—we echoed Peter’s words to Jesus when he said, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life.” We were hungry for truth. Fresh memories of the futile ways that had led to pain and despair, and the deep realization that sin was a killer underlined the necessity of being doers of the Word and not merely hearers. We rejoiced in God’s grace, and we earnestly sought to live our lives in a way that was worthy of Him. Those were truly the days of first love.

Love and truth were intertwined. There was no false dichotomy of choosing one over the other. Truth and love were welded together. If we hadn’t heard the truth of the Gospel, we would not have known Jesus who said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.” If we hadn’t known Jesus we would never have known God’s incredible love for us; we would never then have loved Him all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength, with that love spilling over into loving one another.2

Our love for God spilled over into wanting to please Him and honor Him. We knew to the very depths of our being that to do this we needed to live truth, and to live truth we needed to know truth. We were familiar with lies, and we knew full well truth was not in us, and if we wanted to learn truth we had to heed what Jesus prayed the night before He was crucified, as He asked, not only for His disciples, but for all of us who believe, “Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.

So when I chose the posts to put in the header I wasn’t thinking, let me pick out the posts on truth and love; I was thinking this is what I believe is really important for you to read. I mix content with my life because I think it’s also important for you know that what I write, to paraphrase John Owen, aren’t theories, but what I’ve lived.

Anchor of Hope and the pages underneath it are about trusting in God and His love for you in the midst of suffering, and loving others during difficult times. Apologetics is about truth: reasons for believing in Christ. Bible and the pages underneath are on what the Bible is and what it says so that we can know God and what He say about who we are, and how we are to live: in other words truth and love! Love One Another—yes, obvious! My Witness and “I Hold, I Am Held tell my story of becoming and being a Christian. And while what I believe is self-evident the more you read here, I’m working on adding another subpage on my Confession of Faith to summarize the specifics.

My hope and prayer is that God, through my words or the comments of others, will kindle our minds and hearts, encouraging and helping us to walk in truth and love.

Grace, mercy and peace will be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.
2 John 3


Featured image: Heart-[foto & Concept by paul b. toman]: Plismo. (CC BY 3.0) Cropped.
Cornerstone, First Presbyterian Church, Stuart, Florida: Stephen B Calvert Clariosophic. (CC BY-SA 3.0)
My long-hair photo was taken during my high school senior year.
1G. K. Chesterton is said to have answered the question, “What’s wrong with the world?” by replying, “I am.” The question is also the title of one of his books.
2See Mark 12:28–31.

©2021 Iwana Carpenter